A study by researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that regular tea drinkers have better organized brain regions, associated with healthy cognitive function, compared to non-tea drinkers.
The results of this study provide the first evidence of the positive contribution of tea consumption to brain structure and suggest that regular tea consumption has a protective effect against aging-related brain decline.
The research was conducted with collaborators from the University of Essex and the University of Cambridge. The results were published in the scientific journal Aging.
Tea: better connected brain regions
Previous studies have shown that drinking tea is good for human health, and its positive effects include improving mood, preventing cardiovascular disease, and halving the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly.
For this new study, which explores the direct effect of tea on brain networks in more detail, the research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and over and collected data on their health, lifestyle and well-being. -being psychological. Elderly participants also underwent neuropsychological testing and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The study was conducted from 2015 to 2018.
After analyzing participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that people who drank green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had more efficiently interconnected brain regions.
Neural connections: like a road map
The results of the study can be understood with a simple picture. Take the example of road traffic: consider brain regions as destinations, while connections between brain regions are roads.
When a road system is better organized, vehicle and passenger traffic is more efficient and uses fewer resources. Similarly, when connections between regions of the brain are more structured, information processing can be done more efficiently.
In previous studies, tea drinkers have been shown to have better cognitive function than non-tea drinkers. Current findings regarding the cerebral network indirectly corroborate previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea consumption are as a result of improved brain organization resulting from the prevention of disruption of interregional connections. .
Cognitive performance, memory, the more connected you are, the better it works
Because cognitive performance and brain organization are closely linked, further research is needed to better understand how functions such as memory emerge from brain circuits, as well as possible interventions to better preserve cognition during the aging process. . Professor Feng and his team intend to examine the effects of tea as well as the bioactive compounds present in tea on cognitive decline.
Junhua Li et al. Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation, Aging (2019). DOI: 10.18632 / aging.102023
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